Raven closed his eyes as Sammy’s tongue held him in place. I have never tortured a person before. Yet, does he not deserve it? He was behind the demise of my dear bad vampires. All of them died helpless and terrified. Is it wrong for me to make him suffer more than they did before I kill him?
He pondered that question. It is far too easy to say no. It is not wrong at all. It is balanced. It is right. Yet, it is naught but revenge. It is the same as Missy burning The Institute to the ground, killing so many. Yet, I would be killing just him. No one else. Does that not make it all right?
I would be doing more than killing him. Am I ready to make a step into becoming that kind of man? If I do this to him, will I find it equally easy to do it to some other man? Will it satisfy me? If I take this step forward, how far will I fall? Will I ever land on solid ground?
Will torturing and killing Mark Caten bring my beloved bad vampires back to me? No, it will not. They will remain dead. I will have to live with the knowledge that I chose to take that step and that it was all for naught. It will not bring me joy. I know that now. Nor will it bring me peace. It will haunt me. It will disgust me.
I will know that I have done an irrevocable wrong.
Knowing all of this, can I make this choice? Can I choose to torture and mutilate and humiliate this man? Is it right for me to do so?
No. It is wrong. It will always be wrong. No matter how easy it would be to yield to revenge’s siren call, I cannot. I will not. And I will be able to sleep well during the day. I will be able to face myself and those I love with a clear conscience.
Raven smiled as he made up his mind. He closed his eyes and waited for Sammy to land.
The man watched Ambrose with a lethargic lack of curiosity or fear. He knew on some instinctive level that he should be afraid. He should be recoiling from Ambrose’s nearness and scent. He also suspected that he really should be hungry as well. But he had been hungry for so long. The pangs had become as normal as breathing. He didn’t even recognize them as pangs anymore.
There were questions he needed to ask. People he needed to ask about. But he couldn’t pull together enough energy to say anything. He’d burned out all of that energy talking to Ambrose in the cell. Ambrose’s direct order to “Shut up” may have played a role in the man’s silence as well. Either way, the man was fine with not talking.
He leaned his head against the window. Lights and shadows, shapes and colors rushed past in a nonsensical blur. He couldn’t focus his mind or his eyes on anything.
The man wondered if he might be already dead. He wondered if he would remember dying. That would be something a ghost wouldn’t forget. It would be one of those things a ghost would hold on to. But he wasn’t sure. And he didn’t feel like digging too deep into that thought.
So, he kept his head against the window. He watched time and distance blur through the night as Barbara left Henspence.